November 28, 2019 / 1:44 PM / 18 days ago

UPDATE 1-Egypt's parliament confirms reappointment of Amer as central bank governor

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CAIRO, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Egypt’s parliament approved central bank governor Tarek Amer for another four-year term on Thursday, state media reported, endorsing his performance so far and sending a signal of economic continuity after he oversaw a three-year IMF economic reform programme.

The parliament, in a recess, held an emergency session to vote on the decision by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to reappoint Amer, whose first term ended on Wednesday. The approval was required under the constitution.

Amer’s reappointment came “in light of the good results achieved in order to monitor the performance of the banking system and ensure its safety,” state news agency MENA quoted Parliament Speaker Ali Abdelaal as saying.

Amer was first appointed in 2015 when Egypt was in a currency crisis. The reform programme included a sharp devaluation of the pound currency, the introduction of a value added tax and the elimination of subsidies on most fuel prices.

“Clearly the heavy lifting is done but then we need to have someone to protect these gains and build on them,” said Mohamed Abu Basha, head of macroeconomic analysis at EFG Hermes.

Steps still needed include a full transition to inflation-targeting and further development of the banking sector, especially digitalization and pushing banks to lend to wider sectors, Abu Basha said.

Allen Sandeep, head of research at Naeem Brokerage, said: “The challenge now will be to walk a balanced path between easing monetary policy and keeping inflation in check.”

Governors are allowed only two terms under the constitution. (Reporting by Ahmed Tolba and Patrick Werr Writing by Mahmoud Mourad Editing by Timothy Heritage and Frances Kerry)

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